UN report: 5 women killed every hour by family member
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More than half of the women and girls murdered last year were killed by a partner of a close relative, UN data showed. The number of deaths is "alarmingly high," but the UN warns the real situation is likely much worse.
A UN report published Wednesday said that at least 45,000 women and girls around the world were killed by partners or family members in 2021.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women said the figure meant that more than five women or girls were killed every hour by someone in their family.
The report stressed that although its findings on femicide were "alarmingly high," the real figures were likely to be much higher.
'Home is not a safe place'
According to the UN, an estimated 81,100 women and girls were killed intentionally last year.
"Of all the women and girls intentionally killed last year, some 56% were killed by intimate partners or other family members... showing that home is not a safe place for many women and girls," the UN offices said.
The report acknowledged men and boys were far more likely to be killed overall, making up for 81% of all victims. But women and girls were particularly affected by gender-based violence in their own homes, according to the findings.
It added that the highest number of femicides in 2021 was recorded in Asia, with an estimated 17,800 victims. Africa was the second-deadliest continent when it came to family violence against women and girls, with 17,200 recorded victims, according to the UN report.
'Too little progress'
"The available evidence shows that there has been too little progress in preventing gender-related killings of women and girls," the UN statement said.
According to the report, data from Europe showed a 19% decrease in family-related killings of women and girls in the past decade, while the Americas saw an average decline by 6% in the same period.
COVID lockdowns were likely a contributing factor to a "particularly deadly" year for women and girls in North America in 2020, the report said.
It noted that femicides recorded at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic "were larger than any yearly variations observed since 2015."
The UN said it could not draw over-time trends in Africa, Asia and Oceania due to a lack of data.
"By ensuring that every victim is counted, we can ensure that perpetrators are held to account and justice is served," the UN offices said.
The UN urged political commitment to the prevention of gender-based violence, including introducing policies in favor of gender equality, investing in women's rights organizations and "allocating sufficient resources to prevention."
By Farah Bahgat